UN Asia-Pacific Chief Heads to Rio+20 Summit

Interview Opportunities

The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from 20 to 22 June. More than 100 presidents, prime ministers, and the UN Secretary-General will be joined by thousands of business CEOs, parliamentarians, mayors, civil society leaders and representatives, academics and senior UN officials to set an agenda for sustainable development that will reduce poverty, advance social equity and ensure environmental protection on an ever more crowded planet.

With the world facing many challenges, including the global economic crisis, the growing gap between rich and poor, climate change and dramatic loss of biodiversity and natural ecosystems, Rio+20 is a major opportunity for the world community to guide actions and policies that promote sustainable development. The Conference aims to help address some of the fundamental problems countries have faced in putting sustainable policies into practice, including the failure to consider economic growth, social well-being and environmental protection in an integrated way.

Official discussions will focus on two main themes: How to build a green economy to achieve sustainable development and lift people out of poverty, including support for developing countries that will allow them to find a green path for development; and how to improve the institutional framework for sustainable development.

Countries in Asia and the Pacific are taking action to green their economies in an attempt to sustain the economic growth necessary to reduce poverty and address “a new normal” of rising and volatile commodity prices, resource constraints, and climate change. A Ministerial Declaration on Environment and Development in Asia and the Pacific, adopted in 2005, introduced green growth as a strategy for achieving sustainable development. The “Seoul Outcome” was adopted in 2011 as the regional input for this Summit and outlines a framework for a green economy reflecting Asia-Pacific perspectives.

Key issues that will be highlighted by Dr. Noeleen Heyzer - the highest ranking UN official in Asia and the Pacific and Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) - during the conference include the role of Asia-Pacific as the growth pole for the global economy, a low carbon green growth roadmap for Asia and the Pacific, energy security, the blue economy and the special case of Pacific Island Developing Nations.


What: United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20)
When: 18 to 22 June 2012
Dr. Noeleen Heyzer, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary, UNESCAP
Mr. Rae Kwon Chung, Chief, Environment and Development Division, UNESCAP
Mr. Kiliparti Ramakrishna, Director, Subregional Office for East and Northeast
Mr. Iosefa Maiava, Director, Subregional Office for the Pacific, UNESCAP